Manuscript Monday #4

Manuscript Monday is a series of blog posts which chronicle the life of my manuscript. It follows the journey I take to turn my week old baby story idea into a fully grown, polished novel. Take the journey with me. 🙂

My 4 week- old manuscript:

I’m the fourth week in with this manuscript. I think having a four week- old baby is easier than this. Newborn babies are the sweetest things, so tiny and fresh and wonderful. Whether they are sleeping (like most of the time) or awake, they can draw even non baby people to them. The only thing fresh and wonderful about my manuscript right now is well…actually nothing.

And it was going so well. Or at least it was until I started plotting and outlining—trying to make order out of the thoughts swirling in my head. As soon as I began doing the stuff I was supposed to do, my brain shut down.

I’ve written three novels before. I know how much easier drafting is if you have an outline of some sort to follow. Doing so can eliminate problems like writing yourself into a corner, or a creating a subplot that doesn’t serve the story, or characters that don’t stay true to themselves. I know these things can happen to me if I write without a plan. Yet somehow, in attempting to do this, I’ve found myself very stuck.

I’ve attempted four or five times this week to work on this newborn manuscript this way. And now I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps for this one, I need to just write. Yup, just let the words be. Write without a plan. Just write what comes to me at least for a little while. Until I get un-stuck.

Yesterday I sat down at my computer and gave myself permission to just write whatever. I wrote and wrote. I let myself write whatever came to mind. I got myself unstuck. A thousand words later, I’m feeling good about this manuscript again. Phew! I was actually starting to think I couldn’t do this again. And that is not a good feeling.

I’m not planning on writing like this for the entire manuscript. That definitely doesn’t work for me. I will need a plan of some sort at some point. But sometimes, you have to let your creativity take over to get you going. As writers we are creative people, yes? So for now, I’m going to keep writing like this, let my words present themselves in whatever way they like. The feeling of writing like this is freeing and relaxing and fun for me. I love to see where my characters take themselves, what trouble they get themselves into and how they take shape.

So week four of my journey started out as a bumpy one. I even veered off course a bit, but I eventually got back on track. I took a few unchartered paths along the way, but that’s okay. I found some interesting things about my story that I may not have found had I stayed on course in the first place. Who knows what next week will bring, but I’ll be sure to fill you in.:)

Thanks for checking in today. It’s nice to have friends join me on this crazy writing journey! Be sure to stop back on Wednesday too for our September Critique Corner. I’ll be posting the first 300 words written by several writers. They’ve taken the plunge, ready to get feedback from the rest of us. (Yayy!!) I do hope even if you didn’t submit a sample that you’ll comment on the stories. Your words can help these writers (and many others) improve their craft. You don’t have to be a professional critique-er either. Is there even such a thing?? If you read books, then you’re qualified to give your opinion and feedback!

Have a fabulous week, this official first week of autumn. Grab a pumpkin- spice latte or a warm apple cider. Take a walk in the your neighborhood. Count how many houses are decked out with fall decorations already. Let the feelings of fall fill you up inside. They might just inspire your next scene…or maybe even a whole manuscript!

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